10 Things Tuesday: The Things I Love…Pregnancy Edition

Written by Cilla…Idea stolen from Dawn

**Warning** If you hate being pregnant or hate overly sweet things, you may not want to read any further. I’m just saying…you may gag a few times.

Recently I was inspired by a post Dawn wrote on her personal blog. In it she outlined all the things she was loving recently. I have been so in love with pregnancy, but lately have been letting the stress of work and every day get to me. I’ve always been the type of person who is not happy unless I am taking time to appreciate and enjoy the every day…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately the bad and the ugly can sometimes feel like they’re taking over and, well, I find it so hard to appreciate and love everything when that happens. Then I stop. I enjoy. I appreciate. Then I realize why I love life…why I’m so blessed…why I should be so happy that I scream it from my roof top every. single. day. Pretty sure my neighbors are glad I’m not doing that one!

So, in an effort to keep my sanity, take the time to appreciate the things I love, and scream it from my roof top (aka…my computer), here’s a list of the things I’ve loved recently. Dawn, thank you for the inspiration…as always.

1. My body. Yep…I’ll say it. Now, this comes from a girl who has not loved her body for a while. I hate my expanding thighs that I thought were huge in high school and just seem to keep expanding. I hate my double chin that has never ever gone away. BUT I love my pregnant body…and I’m not just saying that because I listen to positive affirmations that tell me so. I love my expanding belly. I love that it takes attention away from my expanding thighs. I love the perfect shape of my belly (I cannot believe it actually has shape). I love that everyone says you can’t tell I’m pregnant from behind (for which I say to Bret, “that’s because my butt has always been big”). I even love that you can see my battle scars from our very long journey. I’m terrified interested to see how I am over the next 9 weeks. I may have jinxed myself with this and I’ll end up being as big as a house, but at least I’ve taken the time to appreciate it while I love it.

The most recent picture of my belly. This is me and Becca. I'm catching up! Look how cute she is!

2. Watching my belly. I swear, I could do it for hours. I have a very active little guy. I love watching the waves in my belly as he navigates his way around. I love when he punches or kicks me with all his might (that may change once he’s up in my rib cage). I love that when Bret puts his arm on me, he almost always kicks it. I love that I could run my hands along his body the other night and actually tell what it was. He was laying on his side…on my side and I could just run my hands up and down his side. Most amazing thing ever. I love when my belly is completely lopsided from him laying on one side. Sitting and watching my belly is what I call “spending time with Steff”, even though I know I’m always with him, it doesn’t feel right if I don’t get a few minutes to just lay and watch him.

3. Bret reading to Steffen. Bret has upgraded from rapping to Steffen, to reading the books that we have coming in. I love this with my whole heart. I want to record it…snap a picture of it…whatever I need to do to burn it into my mind. This is Daddy and Steffen time and it’s beautiful. Bret lays a pillow on my lap and lays his head there (we read that this could help him move to head down…we’re all about that these days). One of the best gifts we received has a note inside that reads “From our story time to yours”…which seriously has to be the most creative and personal idea ever. The last book he read was one of my favorites. It was about a cat who was pretending to be a chihuahua. Bret loved expressing the different tones and the different accents of the characters. He carefully explained what was on each page like he was a radio announcer explaining it to his audience. I loved when he would throw in, “you see son”. My belly would jiggle with laughter at every new character he introduced. **Updated** Since writing this, I was surprised with a wonderful shower focused around building Steffens library! These girls are amazing! Each book had a note from the giver. I cried when I sat down and read each one. Some talked about how the book they were gifting was their child’s favorite book or how something in the book they loved or something else equally as special. I am in love with each and every book. They will always hold a special place in my heart, our home, and our story time.

4. The showers. I love that so many of our loved ones are coming together to celebrate with us. Steffen is already so loved by everyone. The fact that so many have taken lots and lots of time to plan and execute showers in honor of us and our little man, seriously means the world to me. I am constantly amazed by the thoughtfulness and kindness that each person has shown. I can tell that each detail has been thought of and planned carefully, from the food, to the drinks, to the centerpieces. It almost takes away from how nervous I get opening gifts in front of everyone…which is excruciating to me. I never know if I’m showing how truly excited I am for every single gift. Just wait until the girls post all their details about the shower! Lots more to come!

From our second shower. This is the one that Bret's wonderful family put together. It was perfect!

From the shower that all the girls put together for us. We've had 3 and have one more! We are blessed.

5. Unexpected gifts in the mail. Well, this is something I did not expect. From the very beginning, we have been receiving gifts from loved ones in the mail…all for me or our little man. Everything from books to onesies. I’ll get something from Amazon and think, “Oh, shoot, what did I order!?!” and then be in tears because it’s a gift from someone I did not expect. It seriously feels amazing to know Steffen is so loved and I plan on making sure he knows that every single day.

6. My new swim suites. I was determined that I would be cute at the beach. Again…it’s the only time in my life that I will have something other than my thighs for people to instantly see. I had the perfect tankini thanks to my aunt, but I just knew I wanted a bikini too. Some may think this is inappropriate or even trashy, but I swear, I think it’s the cutest thing ever. Is it weird that I think that? I’ve always thought that, so, of course, I would have to find the perfect one for myself. Realizing that my lovely ladies that reside on my top half are literally spilling out every where (the part of my body that changed instantly…yes, my cups seriously runneth over these days), I quickly learned that my old bikinis were NOT going to cut it. Indecent exposure. I have tried every different top and bottom on from Target…three times. I have searched online for the perfect one, but quickly decided that I didn’t want to pay so much for something I may not wear long. Let’s just say that my husband gets a million…gazillion…brownie points for coming to Target with me and sitting while I tried on different top and bottom combos…for the fourth time. I settled on a top that actually covers the girls up and a maternity bottom that is actually too big on me and is maybe covering a little too much…since I do want to have a tan. After trying on my new items with my old items and mixing and matching, I’ve found the perfect combo, with a few extra pieces to switch throughout our vacation. In case you’re wondering…I will be sporting the bottoms to my aunts tankini and the top that I got at Target the majority of the time. Then I’ll mix in the tankini top and old bottoms I have from time to time. Bring on the beach!!!

7. Steffen’s nursery. Although it is giving me mild anxiety right now with all that’s shoved in there and nothing’s really organized, I love the lay out of it and I love what it looks like in my head. I have my chair that I will lay and nurse him in. One big enough that I can sit up or lay down…depending what I’m in the mood for. The perfect crib that I’ve seen in a million design blogs and adore. The bedding which ties into the room perfectly with it’s simplicity. The fact that we’re using dressers that Bret used when he was a kiddo and his Dad used when he was a kiddo. The white frame project that has been started and is currently just sitting in there. I would say more, but it will just remind me of all I need to do. I’ve got a long to do list taped to the wall. This makes me feel prepared, but also scares the crap out of me. It will all come together…it will all come together.

Getting the crib up! I sat in the floor that night and cried. Bret and I stood in the doorway when we turned off the lights, as I know we will do many many times in the future.

8. Cravings. 1 am and I want an Oreo Blizzard? What better excuse than I’m craving it!?! I mean…you have to give into SOME of your cravings…right? I honestly haven’t had too many cravings. First trimester I was so sick that I didn’t want to eat at all. After that the things I have wanted more would be pickles (how typical), ice cream (not together though..so it’s not AS typical), chicken nuggets and fries, salad, tomatoes, cucumbers (I ate 7 in one day!), freshly baked donuts with cold milk, and turkey clubs with extra pickles from the Bluegrass Pizza Pub in Danville (YUM). Seriously…these things taste absolutely Heavenly to me. Oh…I could just eat all of them right now…at once. I’m. Serious.

9. Breaking the news. I have to say the day we found out that I was finally pregnant was the best day of my life. Bret and I had waited and tried for so long. It was a relief. It was pure happiness and joy. It was love. It was Heaven sent. It was the perfect moment. Since we had conceived via IVF, the doctor assumed we had “cheated” and taken a home pregnancy test. I remember having my blood drawn and walking past the urine test on the counter and making myself not look. I wanted us to find out at the same time and I wanted it to come from our doctor. He walked in and said “Well, I guess you already know the news…” I still didn’t want to believe it until I heard the words “you’re pregnant” come from his mouth. And they did. I jumped out of my seat. Cried. Bret and I squeezed (it was too big to simply call a hug). I know all of our family and closest friends were waiting on pins and needles to hear from us. We sat in the parking garage of the hospital calling those closest to us. There were so so so many tears of happiness and relief shed that day. Sitting in that garage, we shared the most important news we had ever shared. The most joyful news we had ever shared. I had wanted to tell friends and family in some big grand, creative way, but there ended up being nothing more special than sitting in a garage calling each and every one. Then I got to be creative when sharing it with rest of our friends, family, and all of my clients. I made a slideshow of 2010 with a big surprise at the end. I cry every time I watch it. You can see it for yourself by going to www.priscillabphotography.com/slideshows/2010/. I wish I could share news like that every single day.

10. Ultrasounds and hearing his heart beat. We were lucky that, since we had done IVF, we had ultrasounds every 2 weeks for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. We were able to see him literally from the VERY beginning. The first time we saw him moving, he was dancing. DANCING. He takes after his Daddy already. He has been perfect in every way each and every time. Have I mentioned how active he is? Everyone talks about this when they’re doing our ultrasounds. Not to mention he was playing a “catch me” game when we tried to hear his heart beat the last time. I think we may have our hands full! But, oh, there is nothing sweeter than seeing that little nose and big belly, then hearing that fast little heart beat.

I can’t say that I have loved or even appreciated EVERY day of pregnancy, but it’s been close. If it weren’t for the nausea from the first trimester, or the fact that I have to watch how many Pepsi’s and hotdogs I take in, I don’t think I would mind being pregnant for the rest of my life. I always tell Bret that I wish I could just bottle this feeling up and share it with him. After every thing we’ve been through to get here, it breaks my heart into a million pieces to think of those still struggling. I remember sitting and listening to my friends talk about how amazing pregnancy was when we were trying. It was one of the hardest conversations I had to sit through. If I could, I would seriously pay any amount in the world so that every one could experience this (given that they wanted to and were fit to be parents…of course).

Oh I keep thinking of more and more things I love. The love that has strengthened between Bret and I, the fact that every one loves someone who’s pregnant, the fact that every one is so protective over me, all the love that has surrounded this pregnancy, etc. etc. etc. etc. Seriously…my heart is overwhelmingly full.

Katosha - June 8, 2011 - 1:28 am

I loved each and every word… you always bring me to tears! Love reading your blogs! YOu and Brett will be amazing parents!!!

Laurel Ward - June 7, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Wearing a bikini when preggo is not trashy!! I also love my preggo body and wear a bikini too!! So I’m right there with ya!!!
Although I do need to buy some more for our upcoming Florida trip. I’m hoping to find something lovely and appopriate at TJ Max!! haha!!

good luck Cilla and I’m glad you’re enjoying this time so much.

Keisha Parsons - June 7, 2011 - 10:12 am

Okay Sis, I’m in tears yet AGAIN! I love each and every word! You and Bret will be THE best parents:) I can’t express the happiness I feel for you two! I love you!

P.S. when you are back from the beach, I’d love to help with Steff’s nursery! Just ask silly! I mean I OWE you 😉

Alicia - June 7, 2011 - 9:54 am

Thank you for sharing this. I know after all my struggles I can’t wait to experience a preganancy after that first trimester, to take all the good with the ugly and bad.

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